אי נמי שדות בכסף יקנו (ירמיה לב,מד) תני האישה נקנית
Alternatively, it can be proven that purchasing a field with money is called an acquisition from the verse: “They shall acquire fields with money” (Jeremiah 32:44). Consequently, as the tanna wanted to teach that a woman can be betrothed with money, he taught: A woman is acquired. This explains why the terminology of acquisition is used in this mishna.
וניתני התם האיש קונה מעיקרא תני לישנא דאורייתא ולבסוף תני לישנא דרבנן ומאי לישנא דרבנן דאסר לה אכולי עלמא כהקדש
The Gemara asks: But let the mishna teach there, in the next chapter: A man acquires. The Gemara explains: Initially, the mishna taught using the language of the Torah, in which betrothal is called taking. And ultimately, in the next chapter, it taught using the language of the Sages. And what is the reason that betrothal is called kiddushin, literally, consecration, in the language of the Sages? The reason is that through betrothal the husband renders her forbidden to everyone like consecrated property. Therefore, this act is referred to as consecration.
וניתני הכא האיש קונה משום דקא בעי למיתנא סיפא וקונה את עצמה בדידה תנא נמי רישא בדידה
The Gemara asks another question with regard to the difference in wording between the two mishnayot: And let it teach here, as in the following chapter: A man acquires. Why does this mishna teach: The woman is acquired, with the woman as the subject of the sentence? The Gemara answers: This is because the tanna wanted to teach in the latter clause of the mishna: And she acquires herself, which is stated with regard to her. Therefore, the tanna also taught the halakha stated with regard to her in the first clause.
וניתני האיש קונה ומקנה משום דאיכא מיתת הבעל דלאו איהו קא מקני מן שמיא הוא דמקני לה
The Gemara further asks: But if this is the reason, the mishna could have been formulated entirely differently. Let it teach: The man can acquire a woman and transfer authority, i.e., grant her the release from marriage in the form of a bill of divorce. The Gemara answers: The mishna could not use the expression: Transfer, because there is the case of the husband’s death, in which it is not he who transfers authority. Rather, it is from Heaven that her freedom is transferred to her. Therefore, the mishna could not issue a general statement that the man can actively transfer to the woman her release from marriage.
ואי בעית אימא אי תנא קונה ה"א אפילו בעל כרחה תנא האשה נקנית דמדעתה אין שלא מדעתה לא
And if you wish, say instead another explanation. If the mishna had taught: The man acquires the woman, I would say that he can acquire her even against her will, as indicated by the expression: He acquires. One might have assumed that the betrothal depends on the husband, without the need for the woman’s consent. Therefore the mishna taught: The woman is acquired, from which it may be inferred that with her consent, yes, he can acquire her as a wife, but when he acts without her consent, no, she is not betrothed to him.
ומאי איריא דתני שלוש ליתני שלושה משום דקא בעי למיתני דרך ודרך לשון נקבה הוא דכתיב והדעת להם את הדרך ילכו בה (שמות יח,כ)
The Gemara continues to analyze the style of the mishna: And why does the tanna specifically teach: Three [shalosh] ways, formulated in the feminine? Let it teach: Three [shelosha] ways, formulated in the masculine. The Gemara explains: The mishna uses this form because it wants to teach the word way [derekh], and derekh is formulated in the feminine, as it is written: “And you shall show them the way [derekh] in which [bah] they must walk” (Exodus 18:20). The term bah, which is referring to derekh, is formulated in the feminine.
ואלא הא דתניא בשבעה דרכים בודקין את הזב ניתני שבע משום דקא בעי למיתני דרך ואשכחן דרך דאיקרי לשון זכר דכתיב בדרך אחד יצאו אליך ובשבעה דרכים ינוסו לפניך (דברים כח,ז) אי הכי קשו קראי אהדדי וקשיא נמי מתני' אהדדי
The Gemara challenges: But with regard to that which is taught in a mishna (Nazir 65b): One examines a zav in seven [shiva] ways [derakhim], where shiva is formulated in the masculine, let it teach: Seven [sheva] ways, formulated in the feminine. The Gemara answers: The mishna uses the masculine formulation of the term seven because it wanted to teach: Derekh, and we find that the word derekh is referred to in the masculine form, as it is written: “They shall come out against you one way [derekh], and shall flee before you seven [shiva] ways” (Deuteronomy 28:7). The Gemara asks: If so, the verses contradict each other, as in one verse the term derekh is masculine, and in the other verse it is feminine. And furthermore, the mishnayot contradict each other, as in one mishna derekh is masculine while in the other it is feminine.
קראי אהדדי לא קשיין הכא דבתורה קאי ותורה איקרי לשון נקבה דכתיב תורת ה' תמימה משיבת נפש (תהילים יט,ח) כתב לה בלשון נקבה התם דבמלחמה קאי דדרכו של איש לעשות מלחמה ואין דרכה של אשה לעשות מלחמה כתב לה בלשון זכר
The Gemara answers: The verses do not contradict each other. Here, that verse: “The way in which they must walk” (Exodus 18:20), is referring to the Torah, i.e., the way mentioned here is referring to the path of the Torah, and Torah is referred to in the feminine form, as it is written: “The Torah of the Lord is perfect [temima], restoring the soul” (Psalms 19:8). The word temima is in the feminine. Consequently, in reference to the Torah the verse writes: Derekh, formulated in the feminine. There, that verse: “Shall flee before you seven ways” (Deuteronomy 28:7), is referring to war, and as it is the way of a man to wage war and it is not the way of a woman to wage war, it is appropriate to speak in the masculine. Therefore, the verse writes the word derekh formulated in the masculine.
מתני' אהדדי לא קשיין הכא דלגבי אשה קאי קתני לה בלשון נקבה התם דלגבי איש קאי דדרכו של איש ליבדק ואין דרכה של אשה ליבדק דהא אשה נמי באונס מיטמאה תני לשון זכר
Likewise, the mishnayot do not contradict each other: Here, where it is referring to a woman, the mishna teaches derekh formulated in the feminine. There, with regard to the examination of a zav, where it is referring to a man, as it is common for a man to undergo an examination to determine if his emission has a cause other than a gonorrhea-like discharge [ziva] but it is not common for a woman to undergo an examination, since, unlike a man, a woman is rendered impure even by circumstances beyond her control, it taught and used the word derekh formulated in the masculine. Even if a woman has an emission of blood for a reason other than illness, she is still impure. Consequently, in her case there is no reason for an examination to see what might have caused her discharge.
מ"ט תני שלוש משום דרכים ניתני דברים וניתני שלושה משום דקבעי למיתני ביאה וביאה איקרי דרך דכתיב ודרך גבר בעלמה כן דרך אשה מנאפת (משלי ל,יט-כ)
The Gemara asks another question with regard to the language of the mishna: What is the reason that the mishna teaches: Three [shalosh], formulated in the feminine? This is because it wanted to teach: Ways. But if so, let it teach instead the word: Matters, i.e., a woman can be acquired through three matters, and as this term is masculine, let it teach three [shelosha], in the masculine. The Gemara answers: The mishna did do so because it wanted to teach intercourse as one of these ways, and intercourse is called a way in the Torah, as it is written: “And the way of a man with a young woman, so is the way of an adulterous woman” (Proverbs 30:19–20). For this reason the mishna used the term ways rather than matters.
הא תינח ביאה כסף ושטר מאי איכא למימר משום ביאה
The Gemara raises a difficulty: This works out well with regard to intercourse, which is referred to as a way. But what is there to say concerning money and a document? The mishna could have used the word matters with regard to these modes of betrothal. The Gemara answers: Because it was necessary to mention intercourse, which is called a way, the mishna used the word way in reference to the other two modes as well.
ותני תרתי אטו חדא הנך נמי צורך ביאה נינהו
The Gemara asks: And would the mishna teach two cases in a particular manner due to one? Since the word way suits only one of the three modes of betrothal, why didn’t the mishna use the term: Matters, on account of the other two? The Gemara answers: These, too, are for the sake of sexual intercourse. Since the marital relationship, in which intercourse is paramount, is the ultimate purpose of betrothal, the mishna considers this clause as the most important part of the halakha.
ואי בעית אימא הא מני ר' שמעון היא דתניא ר"ש אומר מפני מה אמרה תורה כי יקח איש אישה (דברים כב,יג) ולא כתב כי תלקח אשה לאיש מפני שדרכו של איש לחזר על אשה ואין דרכה של אשה לחזר על איש משל לאדם שאבדה לו אבידה מי חוזר על מי בעל האבידה מחזר על אבידתו
And if you wish, say instead: In accordance with whose opinion is this mishna, which teaches derekh? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, as it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon says: For what reason did the Torah say: “When a man takes a woman” (Deuteronomy 22:13) and did not write: “When a woman is taken by a man? Because it is the way [derekh] of a man to pursue a woman, and it is not the way of a woman to pursue a man. The Gemara cites a parable of a man who lost an item. Who searches for what? Certainly the owner of the lost item searches for his lost item, not the other way around. Since woman was created from man’s lost side, the man seeks that which he has lost. To allude to this statement of Rabbi Shimon, the mishna employs the term derekh in this context.
והא דתנן בז' דרכים בודקין את הזב ליתני דברים התם הא קמ"ל דדרכא דמיכלא יתירא לאותיי לידי זיבה ודרכה דמישתיא יתירא לאתויי לידי זיבה
The Gemara asks: But with regard to that which we learned in a mishna: One examines a zav in seven ways, why does it use this phraseology? Let it teach the word: Matters. The Gemara answers that the mishna there teaches us this halakha, that it is the way of excessive eating to lead to ziva, and likewise it is the way of excessive drinking to lead to ziva. Therefore, the mishna uses the phrase: Seven ways, to emphasize that there are ways of behavior that can cause the emission of a zav.
והא דתנן אתרוג שווה לאילן בג' דרכים ליתני דברים משום דבעינן מתני סיפא ולירק בדרך אחד סיפא נמי ניתני דבר
The Gemara further challenges: And with regard to that which we learned in a mishna (Bikkurim 2:6): The halakhot of an etrog tree correspond to those of a tree in three ways. Let it teach instead: Three matters. The Gemara answers: Because it wants to teach in the latter clause: And the halakhot of an etrog tree correspond to those of a vegetable in one way, therefore the mishna uses the term: Ways, in the first clause as well. The Gemara asks: In the latter clause too, let the mishna teach: Matter, rather than: Way.